It starts from the time one is born. The way your brain is shaped from genetics and the environment in which you grew up. It is especially impactful from age three, when the brain develops long term memory. If one grows up in an environment where parents are always drinking and doing drugs, or are verbally, physically or even sexually abusive, that person will more likely commit those heinous acts onto others. Such a person can grow up with a lot of hate and anger and may start to hurt or kill animals. This is followed by bullying in school, with the possibility of hurting other people. They may start cutting up leather seats, or you may see them in a store cutting up leather pants and coats because it feels like skin to them. They hunt animals with the sole pleasure of killing them. They might start to cut themselves.
These types of people are the ones who usually start to abuse alcohol and other drugs from a young age. Doing drugs, hard ones particularly, can throw the brain into a chemical imbalance, a brain which most likely is already off balance to an extent. They stay up for days on end doing all kinds of drugs, maybe even leading to psychosis. They start committing crimes to pay for their bad habits. What kind of kid does it take to be able to commit awful crimes and possibly the worst crime of them all – murder?
If you think about a child, you do not tend to think about them with the capability to go through with the act of killing someone. Children can be kind of eerie when they are not entirely charming and entertaining, and throughout time kids have gone through with some brutal killings. What type of punishment would be appropriate for taking the life of others when you’re that young? With enough psychiatric treatment, could they one day be re-released back into the public?
Here are ten of the youngest boys and girls to become killers.
9. Eric Smith
He was just barely into his teen years at 13, when he abused and killed Derrick Robie who was only four on August 2, 1993 in Steuben county, New York. Derrick and Eric lived in separate areas of the town, although they both went to the same baseball program only about a block from Derrick’s residence. Derrick’s mom was looking after her youngest kid when she made the regrettable decision to let her son walk that block by himself. It only took about five short minutes, then Derrick was persuaded off the sidewalk and led deep into the forest by Eric. That is where he would be sexually abused and murdered. Eric admitted to this horrific crime but never really gave a reason to why he went through with it. He would be sentenced to nine years to life and was convicted of second-degree murder.
8. Joshua Phillips
Phillips was from the big city of Jacksonville, Florida. When Joshua was just 14, he murdered eight-year-old neighbor Maddie Clifton on November 15, 1998.
When Maddie had gone missing, the first suspect was Larry Grisham, another neighbor who had a criminal record with two sexual assaults. Joshua even offered to help in the search to take any heat off him.
Phillips’ mom was cleaning his room one day, when she noticed the water bed had a leak. A closer inspection would reveal a body was under the bed. The body showed blunt force trauma and multiple stabbings.
Joshua had invited Maggie over to play catch. He said he threw too hard and hit her in the head. To avoid getting in trouble, he beat her unconscious with a bat, then moved her to his room under the bed where she would later start to move and make sounds. To shut her up, he finished the job by stabbing her. Phillip was charged with life in prison with no possibility for parole.
7. Andrew Wurst
At the tender age of only 14 is when Wurst attended his eighth grade grad dance. Opening fire upon his classmates, he killed John Gillette and seriously wounded two other students and a teacher. Andrew was late when he went to the middle school dance, being held at a restaurant in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, along with his father’s .25 caliber pistol. Wurst left a suicide note at home, but instead opened fire on his classmates, deciding not to turn the gun on himself. Wurst would be convicted of third-degree murder and attempted murder to avoid a trial. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years behind bars.
6. Paul Henry Gingerich
This murder took place in the beautiful state of Indiana, where 12-year-old Gingerich became the youngest kid in the state’s history to be tried and sentenced as an adult.
Paul was meeting with friends in the town of Cromwell close to Michigan’s border. After visiting for a little while the three boys wanted to run away, but one of the friends said his dad would never allow it to happen.
The boys devised a plan to murder Phillip Danner, the stepfather of Colt Lundy who the boys thought would not allow their runaway plan. They stole the gun from the step dad. The boys were all sentenced to prison time, but Gingerich received the longest punishment for firing the shot that would kill the dad.
5. Lionel Tate
Lionel Tate would set a record that nobody should want. He became the youngest person in the United States to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of seeing parole. The sentence was handed down to him when he was only 13, back in 2001, although Tate committed the murder in 1999 when he was 12. Tate killed a six-year-old named Tiffany Eunick in Broward County, Florida.
Tate lied and had said that he and Tiffany were wrestling when she quit breathing. Further investigation revealed Tate had stomped on her hard enough to lacerate her liver and fractured her skull.
4. Andrew Golden & Mitchell Johnson
Johnson and Golden were students at Westside Middle School in Craighead County, Arkansas, when they showed up to school armed to the gills with firearms. They would shoot a shocking 15 students, killing five of them; four were students and one a teacher.
Johnson at the time was only 13, and Golden was barely 11, but the two were part of one of the worst killing sprees in a school in American History. The two became friends while taking the bus and were well-known bullies, both often talking about joining or forming a gang. The two stole the guns and ammo from various family members. Golden has since been released while Johnson (pictured above) still sits in a cold prison cell.
3. Mary Bell
When she was the tender age of 11 years young, this ruthless Brit was given the nickname The Tyneside strangler. She actually killed someone before her 11th birthday, when she strangled a four-year-old named Martin Brown to death.
Later that same year, Bell would continue her brutal killing spree and would commit yet another murder, but this time she had an accomplice. Bell, along with her friend Norma, killed a three-year-old named Brian Howe. The body was so badly beaten the cause of death was undetermined. The psychopath Bell went back to Howe’s body to slice an “M” into the stomach to mark her murder, then went on mutilating Howe with a pair of scissors. Bell would be given a charge of manslaughter, but was released at the age of only 23 and has since become a mother and a grandmother herself. And as far as anyone knows, she has not committed another crime.
2. Jesse Pomeroy
Born on November 29, 1859, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, Jesse Pomeroy was given the award for the youngest person to be convicted of first degree murder. Committing horrendous acts against other children at just 11, he tied up and tortured several children pretending he was only going to play house. After he was busted, Pomeroy was sent to a reform school where he was expected to stay until he was 21, but he was released after just a year and a half on good behavior. Three short years later, he murdered a four-year-old boy, who was later found mutilated in Dorchester Bay. He was sentenced to life, which he served in solitary confinement. He later died of natural causes in prison at the ripe age of 72.
1. Amarjeet Sada
The youngest murderer in history comes from India. Amarjeet Sada was an eight-year-old at the time from the Bihar state.
Sada’s mother left her six-month-old daughter at the school she taught at and advised the police after discovering she had disappeared. The police would later find the baby’s body near the Musahari village, where Sada confessed to them that he had strangled the baby. The facts of the baby’s passing were gruesome, as Sada crushed the baby with a sizable rock.
Sada was enduring psychiatric handling for a variety of psychological problems that had led to his young sister’s death. A further investigation also revealed that Sada may have not only been accountable for the murder of his sister, but also his young cousin too, who was only nine months old. Sada would go on to commit yet another murder, when he slayed his neighbor’s six-month-old baby. Amarjeet Sada is unquestionably the most dreadful child serial killer, and it’s uncertain that he will ever see the light of day again.
References: murderpedia.org, dailymail.co.uk, arktimes.com, bbc.co.uk